Personal impressions and endorsements
As a member of the Nevada Appeal reader panel, I had the privilege of meeting thirty of the candidates running for public office this year, and was asked who made an impression on me (you will notice that the paper and I don’t agree on some of them). In person, most of them are very nice, and in some races, no matter who we get, we can’t go wrong, in spite of all the nasty campaign ads.
Ignoring those (because then we’d have NO ONE in office), for senator I like Jack Carter, who is very knowledgeable about Nevada, and feels, as I do, that we need a change in Washington.
For Congress, I have to recuse myself, since Dean Heller is a member of my great extended family (he’s my son’s brother-in-law).
I strongly support Dina Titus for governor. She is genuinely warm, listens, has a great feeling for Nevada’s interests, and knows her way around state government better than anyone else. Her opponent, Jim Gibbons, made a fatal mistake with me when he shook my hand and never looked me in the eye (twice)…just kept looking for someone “better” to go to. Sorry, but when you’re asking for my vote, at least have the courtesy to pay attention to me for that one instant, and not play “dis the voter.” If he won’t pay attention on the campaign trail, what makes you think he’d pay attention if he was governor?
Bob Unger seems like a fine man, but Brian Krolicki has my vote for Lt. Governor. He’s extremely up on Nevada politics, knows what the job entails, and has a great sense of humor to boot. What’s not to like about a man who plays with frogs (his old TV college fund ads)?
It seems you have to be 6’4″ to run for Secretary of State. Our current secretary, Dean Heller, is, and so are Ross Miller and Danny Tarkanian. Both the sons of well-known fathers, they both are very engaging in person. Tarkanian’s promise to require voter ID at elections, sways my vote toward him. This is one of those races where we’ll get a good deal, no matter who wins.
Both Mark DeStefano and Kate Marshall are interesting candidates for State Treasurer. I’m leaning toward Marshall because of her corporate background, but DeStefano would probably be easier to work with. Your call.
David Fulstone gets my vote for Regent. A Yerington native, he has an extensive educational and international background, along with some ideas for university fund-raising that I liked. Ron Knecht has a good educational background, but was more passive in his approach to the job.
State Senator Mark Amodei has my vote (but since he only needs HIS vote, do we care? Turns out his opponent doesn’t live in the Capital Senate district and couldn’t take the seat even if elected), as does Supreme Court Justice Michael Douglas (Seat F)…both are experienced and well qualified.
Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell also has the qualifications, desire and experience to represent us for another four years. Her opponent, Sheila Ward, has the determination to do a good job, but does not have the “seasoning” that Parnell brings to the office.
We did not interview candidates for Attorney General or State Controller (some apparently didn’t have time for an interview), so you’re on your own.
In our Justice of the Peace race, I support Robey Willis, again for his experience. Mark Krueger is energetic and would be a good candidate some other time.
Mike Suglia has my vote for District Attorney because of his down-to-earth knowledge of the job. Although this is one of those races where we can’t lose, no matter who gets elected. Neil Rombardo is enthusiastic, but somewhat idealistic over “vertical prosecution (that’s the ideal way of handling a case, when one prosecutor has one case for the entire time it’s in the court).” As Mr. Suglia stated, “That’s fine, but it falls apart at 9 o’clock Monday morning, when you have four cases before four different judges on the same day.” Without a larger staff, or extraordinary timing, it’s usually not feasible. Still, it’s an interesting race.
I support Robin Williamson for City Supervisor, Ward 1, because of her enthusiastic and ongoing interest in Carson City. I also support Pete Livermore in Ward 3 for the same reasons I support Williamson. Neil Weaver, however, is an excellent opponent, so this one might be close.
Last, but not least, we come to the school board. Bob Crowell, currently the school board president, deserves our vote to continue in the job. His opponent, Ann Bednarski, is a very nice woman, but I agree with her description of herself, “Ideal and naive.” She needs a more definitive idea of what the school board does before she becomes a viable candidate.
Joe Enge is facing Jim Hukari (the incumbent) in District 3. Enge has had his tribulations with the current school board, but I’m not too sure he wouldn’t be a breath of fresh air if elected. He wouldn’t allow them to be in a rut, that’s for sure. Mr. Hukari is a pastor here in town, and, because I believe in separation of church and state, I lean toward Enge in this race.
Our last school board race is in District 6, where Jeff Fontaine is running after being appointed to a vacancy there. His opponent, Barbara Howe, a dietician, is primarily interested in our children’s health, and would be a good addition to the board. However, Fontaine, the director of the Nevada Department of Transportation, is well-versed in what’s going on with the board, is enthusiastic, and is also extremely well-qualified. My vote goes to Fontaine.
My thanks to the Nevada Appeal for allowing me to help interview all the candidates. It was both enjoyable and educational. All of them have my admiration for putting themselves out there for our inspection and approval. It’s a tough thing to do. And since they are doing their part in our democratic process, it’s now up to you to make a choice. Be sure and VOTE and make our democracy work.